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tv   Tucker Carlson Tonight  FOX News  March 2, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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and i said sister, do you have to be so snippy? again, thank you for watching. i am bill o'reilly, please remember the spin stops here. we are definitely looking out for you. >> tucker: good evening and welcome to "tucker carlson tonight," attorney general jeff sessions is joining us exclusively. a short time ago, he announced he will recuse himself from any investigation about the russian meddling in 2016 election. the whole drama began 24 hours ago when "the washington post" reported that sessions had failed to disclose meetings with the russian ambassador during his confirmation hearings. democrats on the hill have been going all out with manyg demanding he resignri immediate. the president issued a statement describing the attacks on the attorney general as a witch hunt. general sessions joins us now. thank you for coming on. here is the timeline as t i understand, january 10th. you were asked during your
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confirmation hearing if you hadn any contact with the russians and you took that to mean in your capacity as a surrogate for the trump campaign. a little over two weeks later, mike flynn was forced to resign because of conversations he had with that very same russian ambassador. my question is, from that point -- february 14th until now, whys did no one on your staff come to you and say hey, we had conversations with the russian ambassador. perhaps we should amend our statement to the senate in order to avoid the process that you are in right now? >> it came to me, the question t from senator franken. he went to great length saying that day some new story come out that said various trumps surrogates were meeting continually with russian officials, as part of the campaign. he raised that question with me and my answer went straight to that, the first time i had heard that.
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i focused on that i had not had any such meetings, i was not meeting with russian officials on a continuing basis to advance any campaign agenda.ls sometime before that, i had met in my office in an official way with the russian ambassador. and that was the answer i gave. it was an honest answer, tucker. i thought i was responding exactly to that question and it really became a big brouhaha. i'm glad i could respond to it. >> tucker: my question, i understand all that, i take you at your word.y you meant that you had not contacted the russian government or its representatives in your capacity as an advisor to the trump campaign. my point though, again, is that little over two weeks later, the national security advisor to mike advisor have to resign because of conversationsad he h,
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also his capacity as a nonsurrogate for the campaign. did anyone on your staff say to you, holy smokes, perhaps we should clarify? you could see how it could be a problem. >> no, i never gave that a thought. i never considered it. no one ever mentioned that to me. quite different circumstances, to me, tucker. i had a meeting in my office with two senior staffers, most retired military people. nonpolitical people. we had a meeting with some 25 ambassadors in recent months while i was senator and then the russian ambassador was just one of them. >> tucker: he was also the very center of countless news storyies.nt so it just seems like a red flag might have arisen. what was the nature of your conversations? they did not pertain to the campaign, you had said earlier. there was conversation about the campaign, as one official said today.er
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>> i do not know what they were referring to but we had a conversation that he came in, we talked about a number of issues. one was the ukraine, we had aa disagreement over, that. the ukraine ambassador had been in my office the day before. we had a little disagreement on the ukrainian issue. so we had a number of discussions like that, tucker. i do not recall any discussion of the campaign in any significant way.si it was in no way some improper d thing.g. i don't believe anybody in that meeting would have seen or would have believed that i had said something that was improper or unwise. it was a sad thing to be attacked like that. i think we have explained it and we intend to move forward.k >> tucker: according to news reports, you met twice in person with the russian ambassador and had one phone conversation.re
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is that the extent? >> i do not remember whether iha had a phone call conversation with him or not. i've spoken at the republican convention, at a conference with some 50 ambassadors after i spoke, i walked down from the podium and mingled with a number of people. we met at that occasion and had a chat. otherwise, shortly thereafter, that is the only two times that i recall having met him. perhaps i have, at the armed services committee. sometimes you meet people like that but i do not recall having met him at any other time.it t >> tucker: why did you recuse yourself with this? i understand your position, none of these had anything to do the campaign in your capacity, but you recuse yourself, why? >> we had started when i got confirmed, i told the senate during that process that i would
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review issues before me toat determine whether or not i should recuse myself. the recusal is not an admission of any wrongdoing. it is just whether or not you can be perceived as fairly deciding in evaluating a case. i committed to do that. i've only been here three weeks. we met with professional staff to discuss this issue and we had a full meeting a week or so ago. and plan to have al meeting today. it was on our schedule to make a final decision about whether or not i should recuse myself. the reason i believe i should recuse myself is because i was involved in the campaign.ys to a degree, i think it would have been perceived as that i would not have been objective in participating in an investigation that might involve the campaign. i did not confirm or deny any
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investigation, i just felt like i should clear the air and we are moving towards that even before this latest. >> tucker: does your recusal extend to an investigation into the leaks the lead to the of departure of general flynn? >> anything comes up, i would be recused because i made that clear if something else comes up not related to the campaign, we would go through the same process. that is to see if there is a reason i should not be involved in the case. i think i performed exactly correctly for an attorney general of the united states. >> tucker: you are foreign policy advisor, chairman, i think, to now president trump. in that capacity, do you remember conversations that you had, as a campaign, about russia, and it was there -- did
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you have any belief that they were putting the thumb on the scale, rooting for president trump over hillary clinton? what were your conversations about russia? >> i never have anyy conversations with the russians about this campaign, assisting in the campaign or anything like that. i went out and spoke. i campaign for trump, but i was not involved with anything like that. you can be sure.yo >> tucker: did the campaign believe that the russian government favored trump over clinton? >> i've never been told that. >> tucker: do you think they did? >> i do not have any idea, tucker. he would have to ask them. >> tucker: the core allegation here from democrats and some republicans on the hill have suggested it's not a crazy ideae that the russian government influenced the outcome of this election. do you think that is true?us >> i think the evidence, people are bringing forth evidence.
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the congressional committee is investigating that. i believe the truth will come out. it usually does. >> tucker: do you think there has been any evidence uncovered to this point? >> i'm not going to chime in or make a judgment on that today. >> tucker: but there is an investigation in progress, my question to you is, you often here the allegation and that there is hear that allegation -- there actual evidence in order to have triggered an investigation? >> you know in the newspapers, congress is investigating now, the intelligence committee. other committees may also investigate. that will just have to play out as it always does in democracy. >> tucker: we just received a call from your office, my producer is saying there is not a phone call between you and the russian ambassador.nd was there? >> i do not recall any.wa
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>> tucker: do you think if this investigation, which i presume you cannot comment on, going forward -- you just said -- is there some other point to it? what is the point, exactly? >> i am not going to comment, even of the existence of an investigation. that is improper for the attorney general to do so and i will not comment on that. part of the standards of the department of justice. >> tucker: you are recusing yourself from any investigation into anything relating to the trump campaign. >> i have made that statementth clearly in writing as to what i recused myself on. >> tucker: will you be amending the congressional record as to your testimony on january 10th? >> yes, i'm going to submit to the record. my response went to the question
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indicated about the continuing surrogate relationship that i firmly denied and correctly denied and i did not mention in that time that i had met with the ambassador and so i will definitely make that a part of the record. as i think is appropriate. >> tucker: my final question is, why do think the russian ambassador wanted to meet with you a couple of times? what was their objective? >> i met with him outside, we chatted on the floor of the meeting and then he called to meet with me. i literally met with 25 ambassadors during this period. many of them were attempting to sell their country about issues that were in important to their public safety and necessary for them.
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i just listen, frankly.he very little occurred in those meetings but i kind of enjoyed them. it was a good experience. >> tucker: i do not think it implicates you to describe what their agenda is. it is of interest to everybody else. they clearly went out of the way to not just talk to you but other members of the senate, and a general set plan and et cetera. they were clearly trying to sele their position on something. what was your position about what their objective was? >> you know, i'm not sure. the thing that really caused him to push back was a discussion oy the ukraine as i recall. as i described it, everything everybody else said about the ukraine was wrong and everything russia did was right. he was totally old-style ambassador in my opinion. perhaps the thing he wanted to share. but i'm not sure what was primarily on his mind.
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>> tucker: have you asked the people who were in the meeting the one sitdown meeting with the two military aides, with their recollection of this? >> a little bit, yes. >> tucker: and they do not recall exactly -- just that ukraine was the center of it? >> right. the question here is, i don't believe that there is anything wrong with the united states senator meeting with the ambassador from russia. i think you ask a lot of questions tonight, and that is fine, but i think it was a perfectly reasonable meeting. i had nonpolitical staffers with me, we discussed some important international issues. i learned something perhaps in that meeting, i usually did.or that's exactly what happened. people were coming by to see me pretty often.
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>> tucker: the president has described these questions as a witch hunt and need to investigate the leaks. do you agree? leaks today that i do believe are troubling. they seem to be in violation of the law and it is an unhealthy trend. we have to do better about it. every department needs to take a greater interest in maintaining a proper security. >> tucker: do see this as a witch hunt? >> i do not think what was said about that meeting i had with the russian ambassador was legitimate. i think it was hyped beyond reason and i think it was unfair. i was glad to be able to address it today. >> tucker: attorney general jeff sessions. thank you for joining us. up next, everyone else is arguing about how sweden wasas affected by mass muslim immigration. one journalist went there to go and find out.ma she will tell us what she found.
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country. the immigrant dominated neighborhood was torched by riders last week. what did she find? thank you for coming on. you always learn a lot when you go on a plane and go somewhere. what did you find? how did it differ from what you found? >> i expected to find what a lot of people have been saying, it's like there is nothing wrong, sweden is beautiful.. i see none of this, i live here. i expected to see the sweden i imagined. christmas cards or whatever. when i got there, it's a very different story. within ten hours of landing, and asylum center was burned down. arson suspected. there is a hand grenade found in a bin. when i rushed there to find out what had gone on, i was told well, why politicize this? why make this a political thing? why can't it just be a hand grenade in a bin outside a mosque? i kind of felt like who is a mad one here, me are you? speaking to the women in
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particular, they are much quieter and have a quieter storn that is not being told. women are frightened to go out. they are not allowed to go out. when i went around the town in the evening, i was certainly the only white female. it is because they are terrified of the crime, the gangs and one particular lady runs home at night because she is fearful of all the men that gather at night under the bridge near where she lives. they are kept indoors. it's a really frightening time for women particularly. >> tucker: the irony of course is not sweden is the original feminist success story. the own government describes it that way. the first truly feminist country and you are saying that swedish women are afraid to go outside?e >> absolutely, that was the point that made me kind of mad. i was saying but sweden has always been an aspiration. you guys have the best maternity leave, the best paternity leave. the epitome of a society that
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truly evolves. the funny thing was after i put up my first article, a strangerp came over to me in a cafe and said you have to keep going, yet they keep speaking out on behalf of these women because they have been silenced. curiously enough, the lady that was too scared to go out of hero apartment that was broken into last week and had her car torch, she said she was frightened to have her s picture taken because of the feminists. because if she spoke out, she will be labeled a racist and they would hunt her down. the feminists are now working against the women of sweden and they call them the extremist feminists now. feminists of the new extremist in sweden. they're part of the problem, part of the mafia that it is silencing the problem that trump thankfully spoke out about. >> tucker: it is not so different here. media downplays any problems armenia that might be in sweden. what is surprising is how many
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swedes are apparently afraid to say what they really think about what is happening. why is that?y >> absolutely, there is this absolute belief, eight years of liberal politicians. absolute belief that sweden is utopia. that is the only message you can send. and a mandatory belief in multiculturalism and there is an absolute reluctance to understand that when these individuals leave eritrea, somalia, afghanistan, they just do not arrive in sweden and miraculously join the multicultural dream. they bring every war, every fight, every hostility with them and incubate it in sweden.n. the somalians who hate the
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afghanis and when i went to address the issues there, the somalian people do not speak to the eritrean people who do not speak to the afghani people. that they should not have left in 2,000 people over the next two years. they don't acknowledge they have a problem because i would admit that multiculturalism is wrong. they are about to let in another 400,000 over the next four years. this problem is not going away. >> tucker: they would rather destroy their own country. i recognize that.t. katie, thank you for joining us. up next, president trump spent a day at a naval base in virginia. we will tell you what he did while they are. we will talk to a democrat who says jeff sessions needs to resign immediately and perhaps go to prison. staysa tuned. man: proper etiquette is essential
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>> tucker: president trump donned a navy jacket in virginia today where he pushed his plan to strengthen the u.s. military. more on the visit, we are joined with trace gallagher. hey trace. >> standing on board the $13 billion uss general ford. aircraft carrier, president trump called for the biggest increase ever in military spending. at the 15 15 minutes we do not carry nearly as much is the speech with congress, but he had garnered praise. while outside of team trump. to date with more than what he said, but also how he looked.
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apparently boosting his presidential aura with a flight jacket and a uss ford ball cap. watch. >> what an honor, they just gave me this beautiful jacket, they said here, mr. president, please take thist home. i said let me wear it. and then they gave me the beautiful hat and i said you know, maybe i will do that.av >> during his address to congress, democrats found it hard to stand up to the president but some left-leaning publications and political pundits indicated that trump was starting to embracepre his position. "time" magazine writing it was perhaps the clearest sign yet that after 40 days in the west wing, the president is beginning to come to grips with responsibilities of the office. "trump offers a more hopeful vision." and, "trump tries on normal." liberal analyst van jones said this after the speech.
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>> he became president of the united states in that moment. period. that was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in american politics. >> even his worst critics were left to admit that at the very least, he had some of the high notes. >> tucker: thank you. despite the resignation of michael flynn, president trump has signaled he has no plans to move against his attorney general, despite all the newsha today. h just a short time ago, the president released this statement...ll that has not satisfied
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democrats, of course. a democrat representing the state of rhode island, he serves in the house judiciary. and foreign affairs committee. he tweeted this today... he joins us. now. thank you for coming on. >> thank you, it is good to see. >> tucker: it seems like you are getting a little head of the story if you're already mentioning perjury. >> it is very disturbing, the attorney general of the united states testified before the american people and before a senate committee. he gave false testimony. he said he did not meet with russian officials during thee course of the campaign. we now know that is not true. he had two months from the time he gave that to correct the record. he did not i think it's very concerning. this is a top law-enforcement official of the united states. we hold him to it very different standard than an ordinary citizen. he is responsible for
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prosecuting people of crimes all across america. i think it is impossible for him to continue in that position, having testified under oath. in service to our country, he should step down. i think that is in the best interests of the united states. he should be treated like any yoother person who offers false testimony, and wherever that takes it, takes it. >> tucker: your standard is if the attorney general says and congress that turns out not to be true, and you don't by his explanation that he believes senator franken was referring to his capacity as a campaignwa advisor. >> i do not think that that is credible. there has been information released by 17 intelligence agencies of the united states. they came to the conclusion that the russian government t interfered with the american presidential election. to the expressed purpose of helping donald trump. there have been four officials from the trunk campaign who have less service of president trump
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because of their ties to russian officials, and it's in that contextci at that that question was asked. the notion is the only 1 of 26 on the service committee that met with the russian ambassador, the only one. the fact that he originally said i do not remember such a conversation, then he remembered today in his press conference some of the details. that is not credible. the reality is when he gave that testimony under oath, it was not true. as you said in your question, he had two months to correct that. he did not. look, this is not an ordinary citizen. >> tucker: i think it is a fair question. you heard my interview. i thought i raised the real question. i'm interested in the standard. i have been in washington long enough to remember many of 2013, when eric holder said in public i had nothing to do with the surveillance of reporters who might be involved in writing critical stories on the administration. he said that and it turned out to be a lie.
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congress had a vote on censoring him, and he walked out of that boat. i just wonder -- he admitted he lied, and you are not willing to stand up. >> not the case. the attorney general of the united states lying to the american people and testifying to his colleagues in the senate that he did not meet with russian officials when he did. the reality is that says to me h that disqualifies him from -- a very serious question about the integrity of our american presidential elections. what is alarming to me --n >> tucker: i have to ask very specific questions if you're m going to say that stuff. how specifically are you alleging that the russian government influenced the outcome of that election?
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>> i am not alleging it, tucker. 17 intelligence agencies of the united states have. they document a very sophisticated campaign at the direction of vladimir putin. fake news, online blogging, the hacking of the dnc. the release of emails. they very sophisticated -- to undermine -- >> tucker: let's not shout over each other. do you have any evidence, these efforts have been going on since 1920. russian government has always tried to influence our election, in that they always will. those efforts resulted in the change of an outcome, at all? do you have any evidence? >> they were changing the
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voters' perspective. there is evidence that they hacked into our election process. we will never know that. they hacked into our system where they released emails, broke into the dnc, did online blogging. those things presumably affected some voters judgment. >> tucker: should not be illegal? what are you talking about?? >> of course they had someut influence but donald trump is our president. hillary clinton lost. i was there when he was sworn in. that's a reality but that doesn't change the fact that the attorney general of the united states should not testify before the senate committee, before the american people and falsely -- and remain in that position. side you, we are probably on the same side on this. two democratic senators suggest that we are now in a state ofgg war with russia. one said this was an act of war.
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it was an attack on our country. where is this going? these are drum beats for war against russia. i cannot believe you are for that. i don't think most americans are for that. reassure me now. when you have a u.s. saying things like that. >> no, what they are talking about is russia has been engaged in efforts all across the world that undermine western liberaln democracy. you see ity. in france, you seen for exit. >> tucker: in brexit? they are behind brexit too? >> no, all across europe -- to undermine western liberal democracy. we should take this very seriously. it is not just a democratic issue. we have a lot of fine republicans, senator graham and mccain. this is about protecting the integrity -- >> tucker: i want to explore brexit and marine le pen when you come back. >> i'd love to come back. >> tucker: one journalist that says a war can be won but with a
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different strategy. a family in oregon was fined $135,000 by the state for refusing to violate their religious beliefs. the media called them contemptible, we will talk to them directly about why they did it. up next. my business was built with passion... but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business...
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>> tucker: a trade war with china could be imminent as president trump continues to push back against global trade, he lamented that america has lost 60,000 factories to china since 2001. he vowed to bring some of those factories back. a journalist at a recent pace that it is possible to win a a trade war with china but a president trump seems content on fighting an enemy that no longer exist. that journalist joins us now. michael, thank you for coming on. >> thank you for having me. >> tucker: you take china seriously as an adversary to the united states.
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more seriously than a lot of americans do. you have a lot of knowledge on the subject.t. if they are our main competitor, with global t trade, how do we approach the? what is the wise way? >> we have to be smart about that because we need to take a tougher stance on china but we need to do it in a way that isn't damaging to the u.s. economy. rather than throwing on blanket powers and it hurt u.s. companies, you want to be smart about it. very, very specific in targeting exactly how we want to fight china and counteract what china is doing. the real threat from them going forward is that they want to move up in the chain. they want the technology, tofr take on america's top industries had on. we have to really worry about that going forward. >> tucker: they don't want to make plastic garbage or balloons anymore.rd they want to design. >> exactly. right.
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a lot of people get all fussy about where our iphones are made. they are made in china but the fact is, the real value of an iphone is not the cost of actually putting it together. it's the chips, the design,f technology, branding. that is typically not chinese. now, what they want to do, and say we want to make whatever the next big breakthrough project i is. we wanted to be chinese technology, chips, brand. we want to sell it to americans and everyone around the world. they want to run companies like apple out of business. >> tucker: and that is came over to the united states if that happens. there is the belief that the chinese has stolen key american trade secrets. is that true? >> there has been a lot of concern about chinese cyber -- not military secrets butut commercial technology. it's a big problem for american
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companies but even beyond that, what we are seeing here happening in china, the chance to upgrade here. to start developing robots, electric cars, microchips, this is a state led national agenda with a tremendous state resources behind it. money behind it. that is what we have to counteract. some of the ways of doing it are rather than throwing tariffs, one idea is to use an approach of what is called reciprocity. hey, if american companies cannot do something in china or they are restricted from doing business in some way or investing in some way, maybe we should match those restrictions on chinese companies doing business in america. it would not only start to curtail some of the predatory practices of chinese businesses but it would pressure the
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chinese to open their own market which is great for american businesses. it would help bring down that trade deficit mr. trump is very worried about. >> tucker: you have obviously thought about this a lot. thank you for joining us from beijing. up next, a bakery battle. we will talk to the couple thato has been given a huge penalty by their state forwe not violating their own religious beliefs. they join us next that wil
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>> tucker: the u.s. constitution guarantees freedom of religion of course. increasingly, the law in many states is making it harder to be religious and gainfully employed. proprietors of a company called
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sweet cakes, after refusing to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding, the couple was fined $135,000 by the state of oregon. lester they had to close the bakery as a result. they are still fighting. their case was heard by an appeals court. representing them in court. thank you for joining us. all of you. there has been so much reporting on this, coming from a very specific perspective that is hostile to you. i want to establish what exactly happened. you all did not refuse to serve you merely refused to participate in any way in a ceremony you believe violated religious beliefs. is that a fair distinction? >> actually, i have to interrupt. there is a gag order in this case where it is being interpreted by one of the commissioners at the bureau of labor and industries.
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we can't even really talk about what actually happened. we have to be very careful because this gag order. >> tucker: i will stop you there.ar what you mean you cannot talk about it? that would dismantle the entire first amendment. the religious liberty part and the freedom of speech part. why can't you describe what happened? i do not understand. >> that is exactly right, i can tell you what happened a little bit.>> unfortunately, they are gagged by this gag order. that's part of what this case is all about. it's not just about being find for damages, $135,000. that is such a crushing penalty, that will put them out of business. that is not good enough. and you cannot really talk about it and so that is part of the case going on right now. >> tucker: let me ask a much more general question. people have read a lot ofuc stories about this. i want to be totally t clear. as a general matter to you guys, did you have a practice of not
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serving gay people because they were gay? >> no, we have no such limits for customers. we served everybody, no matter who they were, every walk of life. that is part of being open to the public. >> these two women were returning customers. >> tucker: you had been there before, you served them no problem. the problem was you did not want to participate in a ceremony that would violate your religious beliefs.e my question to you, and i have been thinking about this since the story began, what do you make of the coverage of this? your newspaper, the oregonian, described this -- they used quotation marks around the phrase religious liberty. as it was a concept they were weren't familiarca with. something only right-wingers cared about. do you think this case has received fair coverage? >> it really depends on what news outlet you go with. we have seen a lot of false stories out there, a lot of things that totally mischaracterize us.
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really what it comes down to is -- it is hard to find truth in media when it comes to things like this because there's so much misinformation out there. >> tucker: you have been i'm sure you know as hating gay people. correct me if i am wrong, but the precedence is set, the state can force people to violate their religious beliefs.pl the could force catholic hospitals to commit abortion or a kosher butcher to serve pork. your religious beliefs have no protection from the state, is that correct? >> we have people of goodwill on all sides. we live in a pluralistic society. we try to figure out how we get along. what we are trying for its tolerance, respect, the dignity of all people to be able to carry out their lives in the way that they see fit. everyone struggles -- how to follow their faith but also
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interact with others. it is just really sad that the government has decided to put its thumb on the scale and say your beliefs, your way is wrong and we are going to punish yound with basically a lifetime crushing penalty. >> tucker: embedded by their mindless handmaiden presses that hate you for other reasons. when will we find out that outcome for this? >> it will take a number of months probably. whatever the ruling is, one side or the other will appeal and this will probably make its way all the way up to the supreme court. so people can follow this case, at firstliberty.org. >> tucker: you don't have to be a christian or even a religious person to have interest in the outcome of this. it affects all of us in a deep way. thank you for joining us, all of you. we will be back on an importantt story we have been covering. stay tuned for that. back on an important story
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>> tucker: we want to bring you an update on a student in the university of virginia who visited north korea as a tourist. after allegedly trying to steal a flag, he was sentenced to hard labor for 15 years. he has now spent one year there. in the meantime, he appears no closer to release. contacts at the state department wants the sentence provide -- the apartment believes this sentence of 50 years hard labor is unduly harsh. he was government continues to activelyes work to secure his earliest possible release. we hope that is true. that is it for us tonight, tune in every night at 9:00 to the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness ands groupthink. don't forget to dvr. "hannity" is next.
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♪ >> sean: welcome to "hannity" ." first, the old left propaganda media and at the democratic party, they are going all in on their massive russian can conspiracy theory. there once. again launching a massive sphere campaign to try and it damaged a trump administration official, and that is tonight's opening monologue. monolog a political hit piece response or political hippies in "the washington post" and the onslaught of attacks followed. attorney general sessions is now recusing himself from a

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